Book Party for The Watchdog Still Barks (Everett C. Parker Book Series)
Join us starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018 to celebrate the latest book in the Center’s Everett C. Parker Book Series, The Watchdog Still Barks: How Accountability Reporting Evolved for the Digital Age by Beth Knobel.
About The Watchdog Still Barks:
Perhaps no other function of a free press is as important as the watchdog role—its ability to monitor the work of the government. It is easier for politicians to get away with abusing power, wasting public funds, and making poor decisions if the press is not shining its light with what is termed “accountability reporting.” This need has become especially clear in recent months, as the American press has come under virulent direct attack for carrying out its watchdog duties.
This book presents a study of how this most important form of journalism, watchdog reporting, came of age in the digital era at American newspapers. Based on the first content analysis to focus specifically on accountability journalism nationally, The Watchdog Still Barks examines the front pages of nine newspapers, located across the United States, for clues on how papers addressed the watchdog role as the advent of the Internet transformed journalism. This portrait of the modern newspaper industry shows how papers of varying sizes and ownership structures around the country marshaled resources for accountability reporting despite significant financial and technological challenges.
Although the American newspaper industry contracted significantly during the 1990s and 2000s, as the digital transformation drove down circulation and print ad revenues, the data collected here shows that papers studied actually held fast to the watchdog role. Although the newspapers studied all endured large budget and staff cuts during the 20 years studied as paid circulation and advertising dropped, the amount of deep watchdog reporting on their front pages generally increased over time. The Watchdog Still Barks contains original interviews with editors of the newspapers studied, who explain why they are staking their papers’ futures on the one thing that American newspapers still do better than any other segment of the media—watchdog and investigative reporting.
About the Author: